In Dries' keynote at DrupalCon Nashville 2018 he discussed a blog post by Matthew Grasmick where the "first impression" or installer experience of Drupal was compared with Wordpress, Symfony, and Laravel. A tweet by Jeff Eaton then got me thinking:
Kind of weird that the #driesnote compares the install complexity of Drupal, Wordpress, Laravel, and Symfony. Why aren't AEM and Sitecore in there?— Actually, (@eaton) April 10, 2018
Drupal powers about 2% of the web, but when looking at top websites, either by NASDAQ, FTSE, or number of visitors, Drupal powers a much bigger percentage of sites. This shows that Drupal is an Enterprise platform. When an enterprise level client is evaluating Drupal they would have much difference "first impression" experience than for example a hobbyist or blogger. Enterprise users would not often use the inbuilt installer, they'd be looking at tools such as Drush or Composer to facilitate the installation for them via some kind of continuous integration platform. For example, in my day job we install an instance of Drupal most hours of the day, this is all handled by a python script running on iron.io.
When tweeting about this blog post I had an interesting response from Kevin Oleary:
#2 is already true. The question should be “should Drupal go back to the simple install and extend model that produced it’s period of explosive growth”— Kevin Oleary (@kolearyUX) April 10, 2018
This tweet made me readjust my thinking. Drupal was almost a ground up initiative. Drupal may not have had it's success without people like me running a blog on it, contributing to it, and fostering it within enterprise organisations. Kevin also completely derailed what the conclusion of this post was going to be. The post was going to conclude with thoughts and ideas about making things easier for enterprise clients. However, maybe the proposal in Dries' keynote to improve the installer experience will help grow Drupal from the ground up, yet again.
what can help in my opinion:
- re-design "installation profile" selection page to highlight that they exist!
- providing more installation profiles to demonstrate the variety of ways Drupal can be set up. (e.g. blog, corporate, API, etc)
- introducing the concept of "installation modules" that offer alternative ways of installing an "installation profile"
- allowing "installation profiles" to inherit. (https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/1356276)
- consistency with the installation via CLI. (Allow for not setting an admin username and password in UI when it is possible in the CLI)